Every day mankind produces 2.5 exabytes of information whilst the business data volume doubles every 14 months. Enterprises are increasingly dependent on information systems that make them vulnerable to data leakage caused by cyber attacks and computer viruses, and often the main causes of data loss are different internal risks such as human factor or various media failures. It is estimated that data leakage is faster than making a cup of coffee - 93% of successful cyber attacks take less than a minute.
The consequences of data loss for businesses can be catastrophic. If large organizations suffer huge losses, then loss of data can be the end for small businesses: about 60% of them will be closed within six months after the loss. Also, do not forget about the impact of data loss on the reputation of the company, which has a significant impact on customer loyalty. In this case, the purpose of protecting information would be to eliminate the risks rather than deal with the consequences.
Types of information security threats
So far, the most common cause of data loss is the hard drive failure. The United States halts around 140,000 hard drives every week. At the same time, 41% of small businesses do not pay the appropriate specialists at all, while 58% of companies are not ready for data loss - they do not have a clear strategy for dealing with such situations. According to Kaspersky Lab, human factor or employee negligence and cybercrime are equally dangerous for businesses.
The main external threat to the company's activities is cybercrime. In spite of various efforts to curtail them, the industry continues to evolve. The cybercrime spreading mechanism has changed, ranging from simple phishing attacks, spam and data retrieval drives, to the evolution of even the most sophisticated technologies - DDoS attacks and ransomware. This means that information security professionals should not only be able to respond quickly to the peculiarities and innovations of this constantly changing cybercrime industry, but also be able to prevent and reject cyber attacks.
The use of the latest global attack technologies, such as Petya and WannaCry, was so successful in 2017 that in 2018 this practice will continue to strengthen its position. According to Gartner's forecasts, by 2019, losses caused by ransom will reach 11.5 billion USD.
The cornerstones of information protection
DEAC and world practice demonstrate that in order to ensure effective data protection, companies must comply with the principles of shared infrastructure and backup data copying. As you know, data stored in one place can be lost, and it's just a matter of time when that happens. Backup as a Service significantly reduces the loss of simple system data in case of cyber attacks or technical problems, while shared infrastructure effectively eliminates the risk of data and system unavailability.
Backup as a Service (BaaS) today is the most popular and affordable solution for storing and quickly restoring even specialized software data. However, when choosing this service, attention should be paid to the service provider's experience, infrastructure and processes, as well as the compliance of procedures with internationally recognized standards and certifications that will provide the necessary assurance of the safety of data storage.
Among the most popular backup and data recovery products is the Veeam technology. Paying for just the resources used, companies can quickly restore data copies or replicate data from the cloud. In the event of a disaster, even virtual machines may be restored. The second alternative, as popular and complex, is the IBM Spectrum Protect solution, which can autonomously determine the frequency of backup and the length of data retention depending on the database management system.
Today there are two main types of backup copying: a differential one when each changed file is copied again, replacing the pre-copied version, and incremental backup when only the changed files are copied. The first type of backup mode allows you to speed up the data recovery process, while the other one accelerates the copy process, although making the recovery process more time consuming. When choosing one of these types of data backup copying, it is worth considering which one would be more appropriate for data and business specifics.
Protection against DDoS attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) uses many of the "embedded" computers from around the world to simultaneously send a huge amount of requests to a specific object in order to overload the site or application, to malfunction or even to downtime programs and servers. According to Incapsula, on average DDoS attacks cost 40,000 USD per hour for business. The timely identification of such attacks is important for any company, as vulnerable IoT devices can be overtaken and used by the intruders.
DDoS protection filters the incoming traffic by blocking the rapid increase in data that is identified as malicious, thus eliminating possible online service interruptions and downtime risks. When choosing an AntiDDoS service provider, you need to consider whether the provider ensures protection against all known DDoS attacks on the entire infrastructure. It is important to focus on the so-called Smart DDoS Defense Plan - this reflects not only the massive, but also the "smart" attacks targeting the use of server vulnerabilities that, as practice shows, are the most effective.
Disaster recovery plan
Comprehensive and complex data protection solutions are needed to ensure the continuity of business processes and eliminate the risks of idleness. In the event that the IT system is not available, an emergency recovery plan, more commonly known as Disaster Recovery as a Service or DraaS, is a must. It is based on the time during which the system will be restored and prepared for work.
Each disaster recovery plan is tailor-made for a specific business by carefully scrutinizing information security audits and tailored to specific business needs. An information security audit reveals the vulnerability of an IT infrastructure of a particular company and avoids potential loss of finances and reputation in the future. Disaster Recovery or emergency renewal plan includes not only backup and restoration, but also a set of procedures that are needed to ensure continuous access to information resources and business continuity in the enterprise.
Without proper preparation business is vulnerable to the loss of data. Many companies fail to comply with the basic rules for protecting information, which subsequently have serious consequences: financial loss, loss of reputation and lack of trust from customers. It is easier to prevent data loss than fix the consequences, so it is important to implement the appropriate data protection procedures as soon as possible.
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